Bentley Debuting Exclusive Mulsanne W.O. Edition in Shanghai
Mulsanne W.O. Edition built in commemoration of Bentley’s 100th anniversary, inspired by founder’s own 8 Litre.
What was going on way back in 1919? The Grand Canyon became a part of the national park system in the United States. The pop-up toaster is invented, though it would have to wait a decade for sliced bread to arrive before gaining popularity. Daylight Saving Time is established for the first time. Nat King Cole and Liberace are born, former U.S. President Teddy Roosevelt died in his sleep (because it was the only way Death was ever going to get the strongman and adventurer).
And 1919 was the year Walter Owen Bentley established Bentley Motors Limited in Cricklewood, England with his brother, Horace Millner Bentley. A century later, Bentley is still going strong, building high-performance luxury rides like the Continental GT and the Mulsanne, the latter of which will now come in an exclusive limited edition set to make its Chinese market debut at the 2019 Shanghai Motor Show, in the form of the Mulsanne W.O. Edition by Mulliner.
The Mulsanne W.O. takes its inspiration from the last Bentley W.O. ever designed, the 1930-32 8 Litre. And just like the 8 Liter, only 100 copies of the Mulsanne W.O. will ever be built, though each one can be built on any of the three Mulsanne platforms (two of which are exclusive to the Chinese market). Each one of the cars will also have a piece of W.O.’s own 8 Litre (the crankshaft, to be specific) inside for all to admire, body-color wheels, and a cocktail cabinet for rear passengers to use.
And speaking of admiration, all in attendance at Shanghai will get to see both the Mulsanne W.O. and W.O.’s 8 Litre side-by-side at the auto show, the latter having been restored following its purchase by Bentley in 2006, decades after W.O. had to sell his car.
Joining the historic pairing will be the Chinese market debuts of the Bentayga Hybrid, Continental GT, and Continental GTC. The big SUV is a plug-in hybrid that Bentley says is the company’s first step towards total electrification, and only takes 2.5 hours of home-charging to return to 100 percent.
The third-gen Continentals, meanwhile, continue to bring high-performance and luxury together with the introduction of its all-new twin-turbo 6.0-liter W12, paired for the first time ever with an eight-speed dual-clutch. The big W12 makes 625 horses and 664 lb-ft of torque, pushing the grand tourers to 60 mph in 3.6 seconds, topping out at a blistering 207 mph. The GTC’s soft top can be had in tweed for the first time, both cars come with luxurious leathers, woods, and metals as always, and both use the company’s Bentley Rotating Display, a three-sided affair featuring a 12.3-inch touchscreen, analog dials, and a lovely veneer.
The debut of the Mulsanne W.O. by Mulliner at the 2019 Shanghai Motor Show is part of Bentley’s year-long Centenary celebration, centered around its birthday, July 10. Thus, there will be plenty of showcases and celebrations around the world in honor of the company and the man who made it all possible.